Lehigh Valley health systems grapple with influx of labor and delivery patients from New York and other states heavily impacted by coronavirus

Written by on March 31, 2020

 Lehigh Valley health systems grapple with influx of labor and delivery patients from New York and other states heavily impacted by coronavirus

By Jen Rehill

March 31, 2020

On Monday, March 30, Lehigh Valley Health Network implemented new restrictions on who can accompany expectant mothers in labor and delivery facilities. Mothers were already limited to one visitor or partner during their hospital stay because of coronavirus concerns. The new guidelines are even more stringent.

Dr. Timothy Friel, Chair of the Department of Medicine for Infectious Diseases from Lehigh Valley Health Network says he recognizes this is a sensitive time for expectant parents, but says the decision was driven by safety concerns.

“There is no place where safety is more important to us than on our mother-baby unit. We want to protect our mothers who are in labor, but also, their newborns,” said Friel.

Among the new restrictions: no visitors are allowed in triage and some other areas, and anyone believed to be at high risk of having been exposed to COVID-19 or showing symptoms will be barred from facilities.

That includes residents of New York, New Jersey or Connecticut who’ve recently traveled to Pennsylvania. 

The CDC has strongly urged people in those states to avoid travel for the next two weeks to help limit the spread of the virus—and to self-quarantine if they must travel.


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